Pensions 

Waspi second petition reaches Parliament

Waspi second petition reaches Parliament

A second petition from the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) movement, calling for women born in the 1950s to be granted fair transitional state pension arrangements, will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Labour MP Grahame Morris' petition, with very similar terms to the first request launched by Waspi and discussed in Parliament last year, surpassed 100,000 signatures last weekend.

A Waspi spokesperson said: “The last petition was debated in Parliament in February 2016, under the last government, which is why there is now another petition along the same lines.”

The document stated that, while the 1995 Conservative government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s SPA to 65 – the same as men’s – the changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice (1995/2011 Pension Acts).

It also claimed that the changes were implemented faster than promised (2011 Pension Act), and left women with no time to make alternative plans, leading to devastating consequences.

The Easington MP is requesting that this government, “without delay, recognises the need for a non-means tested bridging pension for women” born on or after 1950.

Mr Morris is going to ask the Backbench Business Committee for this debate to take place in the House of Commons, which was discussed at latest meeting the Petitions Committee, a Parliament spokesperson said.

He added: “The Committee agreed to wait to find out whether the Backbench Business Committee was going to schedule a debate.”

The government has already given an initial response to the petition.

It said that since 1995, the government has gone to significant lengths to communicate state pension age changes.

“There will be no further concessions on this issue to avoid placing an unfair burden on working age people,” it said.

The pensions minister, Guy Opperman, has also confirmed this position.

Speaking at the House of Commons in October, he argued that “the new state pension is much more generous for the many women who were historically worse off under the old system.”

He said: "More than three million women stand to gain an average of £550 extra per year by 2030 as a result of these changes."

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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